Radical Acceptance

My wife and I have often talked about how people respond to trauma in different ways. For example, she has experienced some incredible loss and pain in her life. As have I. Yet she wasn’t consumed with depression like I was. Granted anyone who knows her knows how incredible, brave, grace-filled and humble she is. But why did trauma affect me in such a different way? Why do some people experience devastation and go on to start non-profits that save the world, while others experience a similarly painful event and are in and out of jail for years? What in the world gives?

During treatment, I watched a short video about the only real scientific conclusion to that question. Those who were willing to RADICALLY ACCEPT what they had experienced – all those painful moments that are part of their story – were the ones who went on to live a life with purpose. NO WAY it could be that simple! But the more I spent time thinking about it, the more it became truth.

It will take a few posts to unpack what I learned, because as simple as it sounds, I did a typical Jeff move and learned the hard way. But this simple concept is the single most important truth about trauma that I learned in 4 weeks of being immersed in truth, revelation, knowledge – digging up the soil trying to find answers. Jesus revealed it to me in the most blunt, matter of fact way possible. The video helped give it a name, but I learned the lesson a few days earlier.

Trauma, abuse, and abandonment color my past. Rather than accept what I experienced and move on in a healthy way, it became who I was. I was abandonment… When I bumped into her after orientation as she was leaving, I noticed she had a book about healing from emotional abuse. I thought, “sweet! you’ll be learning more about my past”. Immediately Jesus said, “no, she is learning to heal from what you’ve done.”

What? I wasn’t abusive. Actually, yes I was. Because I hadn’t faced my past and it became my identity, I had become my past. 1 hour into treatment, the hammer already dropped. I either had to accept the hard truth, or not. What was at stake if I choose not to radically accept EVERYTHING now?

to be cont…

Location: Lake Chelan

View on Instagram ⇒

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *